Here are profiles of five of the 22 finalists for the 2005 Automotive News PACE Awards. What: Automotive News PACE Awards honoring innovative automotive suppliers. Cosponsored with: Capgemini and the Transportation Resarch Center Inc. Winners announced: Monday, April 11 Where: Max M. Fisher Music Center, Detroit Other finalists: Will be featured weekly through April 4
What: Automotive News PACE Awards honoring innovative automotive suppliers.
Cosponsored with: Capgemini and the Transportation Resarch Center Inc.
Winners announced: Monday, April 11
Where: Max M. Fisher Music Center, Detroit
Other finalists: Will be featured weekly through April 4
Advanced Automotive Antennas SL
Mollet del Valles, Barcelona, Spain
Category: Product, Europe
For: Fractal antennas
Broccoli florets have a huge surface area for the volume of space they fill, something that illustrates "fractal" development. Using fractals, the newest miniature antennas can be made 10 times smaller than existing ones, and eventually will be made to pick up multiple bandwidth signals for radio, telephone and GPS. They are made on printed circuit boards or tapelike flat surfaces, and can be tucked inside rearview mirrors, spoilers and other places where they do not cause drag, are protected from damage and don't obstruct visibility or mar styling. The first applications are by Fiat, Peugeot and Mazda.
Rieter Automotive Systems
Category: Information Technology
For: Genetic Algorithms Optimization for Lightweight Damping (GOLD)
As cars get lighter, they tend to become noisier. Lightweight materials vibrate at high frequencies. Less mass means less noise absorption. The solution is to put damping materials on certain parts to deaden noise - but that adds weight. Rieter has developed software that selects the best combination of component materials, shapes and placement to keep cars quiet. The system analyzes billions of combinations and develops the best ones through a software process akin to genetic mutation and natural selection in living organisms. The system is used by Nissan in Japan.
|Speedy Shape Choices|
Dana Corp., Commercial Vehicle Systems Division
Category: Information Technology
For: Robin Hood shape-optimization software
Rapid optimization of a component design has great value for a manufacturer. Dana's proprietary Robin Hood software uses a unique mathematical theory named "Automatic Spatial Perturbation" to achieve design solutions quickly. The software, which fine-tunes designs by moving or eliminating material, needs only modest computing power, does not rely on engineering intuition and does not require hundreds of finite-element analysis iterations. Useful results often can be reached within 10 iterations, and the optimal design comes out as an easily imported CAD file.
For: B-Quiet noise insulation material
Low-frequency sound waves tend to pass through conventional pads and acoustic fiber mats, causing driver and passenger discomfort. BBi has developed a lightweight insulating material that catches and dissipates low-frequency waves on its semi-permeable facing material, while also absorbing higher-frequency sounds. The 2005 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is the first vehicle to use the material, as an inner instrument panel insulator.
Category: Manufacturing Process & Capital Equipment
For: C 4000 Entry/Exit Safety Light Curtain
SICK has developed a horizontal "light curtain" system that that can tell the difference between a component on a production line and a worker standing in the wrong place. The system switches off dangerous machinery if something is detected that is not moving in the same way and at the same speed as materials on a transport skid. As a result, both accidents and unnecessary line shutdowns can be avoided. Mercedes-Benz uses the system throughout its Sindelfingen, Germany, plant.